Sidewalks are so common in towns, neighborhoods, walking trails, and around most public or private business locations that we often pay them little mind. A crack, chipped or missing piece of concrete, or sudden change in height between one section of sidewalk and another can cause a trip and fall. Unsafe sidewalks have become a leading cause of serious bodily harm and injury.
Unsafe Sidewalks Cause Injury
A National survey that studied pedestrian injuries reported that 24% of pedestrian injuries were due to a trip and fall on uneven or cracked sidewalks. The International Property Maintenance Code states that all sidewalks should be kept in a proper state of repair, and maintained to be free of any hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, with thousands injured walking around the block, going into a store, stepping out for a meal, or in keeping a medical appointment.
Unsafe Sidewalks All Around Us
Sidewalk injuries are often caused by the following common reasons:
- Cracks – these may develop over time from age, ground conditions, tree roots disrupting the pathway, climate and temperature changes. Cracks may also appear due to use of inferior materials or improper construction.
- Uneven sections of sidewalk – while any of the above reasons may contribute to a rise or drop in elevation between sections of the sidewalk, it is the construction industry standard which typically limits the sidewalk lift or drop between sections to one-half inch, and in some instances, to just one-quarter of an inch.
- Debris – obstructions and trip hazards on the sidewalk are a common source for a trip and fall injury. Debris can include, trash cans, garbage bags, trash that has spilled out of a container onto the sidewalk, fallen leaves, yard debris such as piled up tree or bush trimmings, bicycles, toys, and the list continues.
- Ice and snow accumulation – private homeowners, store fronts, private or public business’ need to take care in keeping their sidewalks free and clear during winter months. The local laws may vary as to the time frame for ensuring the sidewalks are shoveled and made safe for public use.
- Potholes – holes, cracked off sections, and other disintegration may occur that can easily lead to a trip and fall.
Unsafe Sidewalks Attorney
If you have been injured while walking on unsafe sidewalks, call the office of Joel Baskin, for expert legal guidance. It does not matter if the sidewalk care was the responsibility of a private owner, business, state or local municipality, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and medical expense. Call today.